John McCain has his work cut out for him, said Tom Brune in Newsday. In his Thursday acceptance speech, the Republican presidential nominee has to avoid being outshined by his rival, Barack Obama, and his own running mate, Sarah Palin. And he’ll have to “distance himself from the unpopular Bush without alienating the GOP's faithful.”

McCain doesn’t have to worry about the base with the pro-gun, anti-abortion Palin at his side, said The Dallas Morning News in an editorial. Now that he’s the only chance for a “damaged-brand party,” McCain has to return to the “maverick instincts that got him to this point” to sway the swing voters he needs to win.

One thing McCain can’t afford to do, said The Boston Globe in an editorial, is ignore the biggest issue of the election, economics. This speech is his big chance “to outline a more responsible Republican economic agenda than the one President Bush has pursued.”